DeKalb County has a robust nonprofit sector employing seven percent of the total workforce. Yet, COVID-19 has had a noticeable financial impact with nearly 82 percent saying they have had to cancel fundraising events due to the pandemic. A new study explores nonprofit organizations based in DeKalb County and provides a glimpse at their funding, programs, and the impact of COVID-19. The Center for Nonprofit and NGO Studies at Northern Illinois University and the DeKalb County Nonprofit Partnership (DCNP) collaborated on the study, which provided two NIU graduate students with valuable hands-on research and nonprofit experiences.
“The original idea for this project came from DCNP members back in 2013,” said Ben Bingle, DCNP Director. “This is the third DeKalb County Nonprofit Study and it is as relevant as ever for nonprofit staff and board members who want resources to help them make informed decisions about their organizations.”
Previous studies were completed in 2014 and 2017. The three-part series was supported by funding from the Douglas C. and Lynn M. Roberts Family Foundation.
The study consisted of an electronic survey that was sent to nonprofit representatives in September 2020. Data collection lasted three weeks, followed by analysis and reporting of the results. The survey generated a response rate of about 40%.
Alicia Schatteman, Director of the Center and the principle investigator for the study, said “This study affirmed that the nonprofit sector is both resilient and dedicated to serving residents, despite the financial challenges during COVID. Our nonprofit organizations provide vital services but they also represent our commitment to care for each other and also to celebrate together.”
The DeKalb County Nonprofit Partnership (DCNP) is a membership-based program of the DeKalb County Community Foundation that works to strengthen nonprofit organizations located in or serving DeKalb County. With over 150 members, DCNP offers training, professional development, grant opportunities, networking, collaboration, and programs such as Give DeKalb County. For more information about DCNP, call (815) 748-5383 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Center for Nonprofit and NGO Studies is an interdisciplinary academic unit that connects students, faculty, researchers and nonprofit organizations across Northern Illinois. Created in 2010, The Center hosts the only nonprofit undergraduate program offered at an Illinois public institution to educate the next generation of nonprofit and community leaders. The Center brings the latest research to the nonprofit sector in the form of community-based research assistance, professional development, networking and student engagement.
For more information about the survey methodology or NIU’s Nonprofit and NGO Studies call (815) 753-4410 or email nonprofitNGOcenter@niu.edu.